NIST guides civilian infosec buys

NIST Special Publication 800-23 (PDF)

The National Institute of Standards and Technology late last week released

its final guidelines on civilian agency procurement of information security


Under the new guidelines, NIST Special Publication 800-23, NIST recommends

that agencies acquire security products that have undergone independent

testing and evaluation.

"Federal agencies should give substantial consideration in IT procurement

and deployment for IT products that have been evaluated and tested by independent

accredited laboratories against appropriate security specifications and

requirements," the guide states.

The main type of testing recommended by the publication is the international

Common Criteria Evaluation and Validation Program, overseen in the United

States by the National Information Assurance Partnership under NIST and

the National Security Agency.

Using the Common Criteria Cvaluation, agencies can be assured that the security

products will perform the way a vendor promises. The products are tested

by private-sector laboratories accredited by the NIAP.

NIST cautions, however, that agencies still need to make sure a security

product fits into their overall architecture and needs because a Common

Criteria-tested product may not be the best security product for an agency

to buy.

"It is important to note that purchasing an evaluated product just because

it is evaluated, and without due consideration of applicable functional

and assurance requirements, may be neither useful nor cost-effective," the

guide states.


  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.